I was a student preparing for my CAT exams at Dehradun when my family suddenly called one day to inform me that my father was being admitted at a hospital in Gorakhpur. I reached home to find my father in a sorry state. He had a swollen stomach, which was understandably very uncomfortable. On making enquiries with Papa’s consultant, I was told he had a chronic liver disease that required further management at a higher center, which was Lucknow.
Papa was diagnosed with Cirrhosis of the Liver and was prescribed medication and certain investigations. On followup after 15 days, the reports confirmed that Papa was Hepatitis C positive with a damaged liver and a confirmed need for a Liver Transplant. I was also told by the physician that this was the only option that could save Papa’s life.
It was a complete shock for me and suddenly I drew a blank. I wasn’t sure what to do until Papa was readmitted again at the Railway Hospital. I must have met everyone I could – the railway hospital medical director, the specialist at Lucknow, friends who I felt cared, those that may have had the same illness as Papa---everyone for that ray of hope. Money was a problem, too. Thank God for Papa’s job at the railways, medical care at the highest level is still a possibility even though it requires the typical bureaucratic running around that we are all somewhat used to. But I did it because I loved Papa dearly and couldn’t even think of a life without him, his presence.
Finally the paper work was sorted and the money came through. I was in Delhi at ILBS and being worked up as a donor. I gave a part of my liver to Papa so that he could have another chance to live. I wouldn’t say I did the favor; it was actually my need because there just can’t be a life without Papa, who is my rock always behind me.
As for me, I am where the doctors said I would be: Hale and hearty, rearing to go, with a hope for a brighter future. It has been one year since Papa’s Liver Transplant. I am studying for my MBA and working at the same time. I talk to families making those enquiries about a liver transplant. Their fears, emotions, doubts, questions and beliefs take me down memory lane while I relive through their experiences what I went through.